LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Zaka Ashraf chief, media manager Nadim Sarwar and COO Subhan Ahmed welcomed India's invitation to compete in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament this year, saying it could lead to a "revival of Indo-Pak cricketing ties."

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which met earlier in the day in Chennai, approved Pakistan's participation in the tournament which features leading domestic Twenty20 teams from around the world. "We feel it's a significant and positive development," Pakistan Cricket Board Media Manager Nadim Sarwar told to this scribe on Saturday.

Nadim Sarwar was hopeful of renewing bilateral ties with India after the Indian governing board (BCCI) invited their arch-rivals Pakistan to send a team for this year's Champions League T20 tournament.

The Champions League is an offshoot of the lucrative Indian Premier League and is contested by the domestic T20 champions of test-playing nations.  Pakistan had not been invited to the first three editions of the event by the BCCI due to strained relations between the two countries.  "We are happy that the BCCI decided our national champions should take part in the Champions League," Nadeem Sarwar said. He expressed the hope that this would be the first step towards reviving bilateral cricket ties between the two countries."

BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan said Pakistani team Sialkot Stallions' participation in the T20 tournament will have to be approved by the governing council of the Champions League that includes Australia and South Africa.

"We are delighted that finally some ice has been broken. Hopefully we can now move forward from here," he said.  India have frozen all bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan since 166 people were killed during a three-day siege in Mumbai in 2008. The only gunman arrested following the attacks was a Pakistani national.

The invite to the tournament, to be held in October in India, came a month after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari urged Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consider reviving cricket ties, during a private visit to New Delhi.